It’s been a week where I am trying to find my Illudium Q-36 explosive space modulator but cannot. My plans have been obstructed by forces I have no real comprehension of and less control over.
In my defense, I am not trying to destroy the planet so really, this kind of delay is not justified but it is nonetheless there.
This week, I’ve decided to flip the script, yo. Instead of getting a beer, I went for double samples as you can see from the picture. They are, from left to right, Oskar Blues‘ Old Chub on nitro (Scottish ale), Occidental‘s Sweven (belgian ale) and Bend’s Chin Ching (Berliner Weisse w/ pomegranate and hibiscus).
My issue with samples, most of the time, is that there isn’t quite enough beer to really get a sense of the ale. Enough to decide if you’d like more, but not quite enough to evaluate it, at least for me. Getting two samples offers me the opportunity to get a bigger picture, I hope.
Or, maybe the lesson I’m about to learn is that a single taster is plenty to figure out what’s going on there.
Old Chub is sweet and silky in the mouth-the nitro playing its role splendidly-and very much the kind of beer I could see have more than I meant to.
Sweven has a cherry nose, drying finish and is a bit thin in the middle. Drinkable but surprising.
The Ching Ching is tart! That I was not expecting at all-though with a little research I can see that I should have. I can definitely sense an herbal hint, though I don’t know that I can say: that’s hibicus, period and the pomegranate swings right over any mellowing the wheat elements might’ve given the beer. It’s so pink that I get the impression that I’m drinking pink lemonaid, which isn’t a bad description of the beer overall.
I wonder what kind of food people were eating in 19th Century Berlin, that this beer was the most popular one. I’m not sure what I’d eat with this except for sweet things and for a beer to be really popular, I’d just imagine that it would pair well with food. Maybe not? Maybe it became the hipster of beers and wasn’t cool anymore, when everyone wanted to drink it.
Mouth puckering from the B-W, I swing some water and go back to the Ching Ching. Maltier flavors become more apparent now, warmed up and following tartness. Somewhere between chocolate and caramel reside the malt flavors but not as sweet as a dubbel or tripel ale, making this one that is a bit more drinkable because I don’t feel overwhelmed. It’s not as dense and I like that.
Finally, I return to the Old Chub. There’s something a little strange now. Perhaps I cannot go back at this point, having the evil yeasts of sour and belgian beers corrupt my palate. This beer tastes off now, almost bubblegummy. It’s drinkable qualities have been overruled by something else and now there’s a touch of cough medicine there. It’s still drinkable but not pleasantly so.
So next time, I’ll have to remember that I can’t play the scales when I drink the samples.